Community Foundation Kicks Off Its 25th Anniversary


25 Years of Giving and Making Memories

Since the Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF) began 25 years ago, it has changed quite drastically. Many community members have poured their time and dedication into advancing our Community Foundation. Throughout its middle years, the SCCF continued to grow and thrive. Thanks to incredible people from donors and volunteers to board members and staff, the SCCF has encountered success in meeting the requirements to earn dollars from the past seven Lilly Endowment Inc. GIFT Phases, grow its assets and grants given, hold unforgettable community events, and more.

In 2004, the SCCF only had 6 scholarship funds. Now, it has 29! However, scholarship funds make up only a small portion of the SCCF’s more than 150 funds. There are various types of funds that donors can establish in order to achieve their charitable wishes. For example, the Arlowa S. Vorm Memorial Fund was created in 2004 to commemorate one of the SCCF’s founders, Arlowa Vorm. This unrestricted community fund helps a variety of different needs in Starke County each year, allowing Arlowa’s dedication and giving nature to continue forever.

In 2005, the Hardesty Memorial Endowment Fund was created by founding member and board member, Jim Hardesty. This fund is a donor advised fund, meaning Jim could make recommendations on where to grant dollars from his fund each year. And since Jim’s passing, his nephew serves as the advisor of the fund. This fund is now the largest at the Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF). In 2006, the Starke County 4-H Council established a fund to support their organization forever!

Aside from working with donors to establish funds to fulfill their charitable wishes, the Community Foundation family has made many memories through the years! In 2006, the SCCF celebrated its 10th anniversary! The Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF) celebrated with a new logo for each of its three counties. In total, SCCF granted over $24,900 that year to a variety of organizations including the Friends of the Park Association of Knox, North Judson Mint Festival, and the North Judson Park and Recreation Board.

A number of more notable events took place, grants were given, and funds were created over the next several years. Radiothons, such as the Give Your Heart to Your Community event and a “Veterans Call-In” were held, which brought the community together to support a cause. A “Lights of Remembrance” event was held at Hensler’s Nursery in memory of loved ones. In 2010, the NICF Internship Program began, bringing many talented young individuals to the Community Foundation to learn about philanthropy and their home communities.

Perhaps the most memorable events at the Community Foundation have included when we have been privileged enough to present grants to local organizations doing truly amazing work for Starke County. That’s what it’s all about, and that’s what our donors have made possible over the past 25 years!Tune in next month to read about what has been happening recently at SCCF!